Archive for the ‘Kitchen Home Improvement’ Category

By Vincent Platania

Not too many people enjoy cleaning with a wet mop. Visions of bending over to wring the wet mop head, watery messes, and backaches often come with the thought of mopping. Over the years, advances in wet dry mops, including the study of absorbent materials and wringing methods, have made mopping easier. The fact is that cleaning with a wet mop is much better than simply sweeping or vacuuming a hard surface floor. And while the process may not be the most fun, it doesn’t have to be the painful experience it once was.

While technology has created some wonderful mop handles that reduce the need for bending over when wringing the wet mop head, the best material for the wet mop head remains 100% cotton that is tension twisted for maximum absorption power. Even with all the fancy absorbable materials available, cotton retains moisture better than any around. A quality cotton wet mop head can hold as much as four times its weight in water, which makes cleaning go much faster.

What about sponge mop heads? For the best cleaning power, a traditional cotton wet mop head is

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better than a sponge for a number of reasons. For one, a cotton mop head, when dried and stored properly, is less likely to hold germs and grow mildew. The many holes in sponges are nothing more than multiple pockets for germs to hide. Granted, a sponge mop head may be good for quick, small, and relatively clean spills (such as a spilled drink), a cotton mop head is best for deep and thorough cleaning. Even if the floor is only slightly dirty, you may end up pushing dirt around your floor with a sponge mop head more than cleaning it up.

Of course, to clean effectively with a cotton wet mop head, proper technique is essential, both for keeping dirt and germs under control, but also for saving your back. When cleaning, begin at the farthest end of the room and work inward using a figure eight motion with the wet mop head. This brings the dirt along with you (rather than pushing it away), which keeps germs under control as well. The figure eight motional also more evenly distributes the workload throughout your arms and back, which is less likely to result in a backache.

To care for your wet mop head, rinse it thoroughly after each use, and hang it so the mop head is off the floor or upside down. This helps keep the mop head in better condition as it can become disfigured and damaged if left to dry while upright on the wet mop head. This type of storage also allows the mop head to dry thoroughly, which reduces the chances of germs and mildew to accumulate. When it is no longer possible to rinse the wet mop head thoroughly, it is time to replace it. Even if the mop head looks okay, be sure to replace it every so often anyway, as germs can build up over time if the mop head is not changed often enough, despite the best of care and storage.

To assist in maintaining your back health, look for a wet mop with a built-in wringing system. The best ones provide a tight wringing action and are easy to operate.Also look for a wet dry mop with a long enough handle that you will not be constantly bending over to use it. A long handle will allow you to clean comfortably using the figure eight pattern mentioned without having to lean forward excessively.

To make mopping easier, choose a high quality cleaning product designed for mopping and use according to directions. One problem with many well-intentioned people is to use a product not designed for wet mopping, such as dishwashing liquid, and end up with a too-sudsy mess that is difficult to rinse out. Using the wrong type of cleaner can also create the opposite of what you’re aiming for, such as leaving a film on your floor. Also, with specialty floors, such as tile, it is a good idea to choose a cleaning product that is designed for that type of floor. Otherwise, you may accidentally damage the finish or scratch the surface if you use an abrasive cleaner. Again, one advantage to the cotton wet mop head is that it is gentle on surfaces in that it does not scratch. Between each sweep on the floor, be sure to swish the mop head in the water to release dirt particles that could scratch the floor.

About the Author: Author Vincent Platania represents the Fuller Brush Company. Fuller Brush has been in business since 1906, and offers safe, environmentally friendly products for keeping your home and your body clean. Visit


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By Jason Broderick

Why do stainless steel grill parts rust? This is another question we get asked all the time and there are almost as many answers as there are gas BBQ grills. I meet customers who purchase a stainless steel barbecue grill with a lifetime guarantee because they no longer want to buy a new grill every two years. Then two years later their big stainless steel grill is rusting and they feel betrayed. There are a lot of answers to this question but most of them are simple and sometimes obvious.

One reason is the quality of the grill parts. We know restaurants and resorts cannot waste time buying a new grill for their kitchen every few years so we assume if we purchase commercial quality items we can get the same level of quality as professionals. Now any cheap, low cost manufacturer can call their product a commercial series or a professional series item and the association is made. Add a few hundred dollars profit to the price and the customer gets tricked. I have seen this in many industries when the terms “commercial” and “professional” get used as the name of a product model rather than a true description of the quality of the product.

Many of these manufacturers will use a low grade stainless steel to further the association with commercial quality. Many of us do not realize there are many different types of stainless steel. We do not understand the differences and we go looking for stainless as symbolic of a well made product. I cannot tell you how often a buyer will walk into my retail store claiming they want a stainless grill. In their mind, they have asked for a particular level of quality using the term “stainless steel”. With a few extra questions, they will share their belief that stainless steel will save them the inconvenience of replacing grill parts within the year or buying a whole new grill next year. The fact is there are several types of stainless steel, many no better than regular steel and indistinguishable visually.

Look at who makes the grill – not the importer but the actual manufacturer. Barbeque grills that are made in America will generally disclose the type of stainless steel that has been used. If the manufacturer is providing a warranty, call them and see if a human answers or if the warranty is a sham. When we purchase an American Made stainless steel BBQ grill, we spend a lot more money and have much higher expectations of the product. Contact local dealers and find out if local professionals who repair grills recommend the product.

Commercial products do not say “commercial” on them and restaurants or resorts do not buy their appliances at the gigantic retail exchanges that advertise the lowest price in town. I have clients who purchase a $300. grill and feel they have spent a lot of money. For that BBQ owner the information above regarding different types of stainless steel is applicable. Keep the grill covered and clean it as often as possible.

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Today, well built products are manufactured from a stainless steel designated as 304. 304 stainless steel is often referred to as 18/8 stainless because of the main chemical additives that make it resilient outdoors. In order to be considered 304 stainless steel not only are iron oxides drained to such a degree that a magnet cannot hold it but nickel and chromium are added during the smelting process in amounts of 8% nickel and 18% chromium.

Chemicals added to stainless steel protect the material in its specific application. A different stainless steel is used for an indoor refrigerator that does not contend with humidity, rain, snow or heat. Outdoor gas barbeque grills use 18 gauge 304 stainless steel because of the nickel and chromium. Nickel is a hardening agent. Nickel is shiny and attractive but its main benefit is as a hardener. When stainless begins to rust it shows up as “pits”. Pitting occurs as a small violation in the surface of the stainless like a dot. As a hardening agent, nickel will usually stop this from starting.

Chromium protects the surface of the stainless steel in the same way that oil protects a cast iron pot. Chromium reacts with oxygen in the atmosphere and creates a barrier at the surface of the stainless steel. If the stainless surface ever becomes damaged or scratched the surface can be lightly sanded and the chromium will recreate the barrier.

Chromium is added during the smelting process so scratching-out rust does not remove the protective effects of chromium.

Mid-range barbeque grills like Weber and Broil King use combinations in manufacturing. While the majority of the stainless steel on these grills is of the 400 designation, the cooking grates, heat shields and gas burners will be made of 304 stainless steel. This is because the inside of the grill gets wiped down less and gets a whole lot messier than the hood.

For the very expensive grill that has a lifetime guarantee against rust, the reason your grill is rusting is grease. I have seen DCS grills over twenty years old without a single pit on the outside of the barbeque but the burners have been replaced six times. On the rare occasion a customer claims the hood is rusting, it is usually not rust but a light discoloration caused by heat. When the grill shows rust, it is the burners, heat shields, rod trays, cooking grates, etc. The grill parts inside the firebox get grease and drippings and carbon discoloration from heat. All of these things combine to coat the stainless and stop the chromium from reacting with oxygen in the atmosphere.

Once a year I take the cooking grates, heat plates and burners out of my grill. I clean – really clean – the inside of the firebox and I clean the parts I have removed. I have a wire brush that attaches to my drill and I scrub the grates, burners and even the firebox with that brush spinning at 60 miles per hour. It does a great job and the stainless looks great until I cook on it again. For barbeques that use less-expensive stainless steel, know it is decorative. They know the decoration allows the assumption regarding quality to be made but no one who sells grills will point this out. Either accept that you will have to buy a new BBQ grill every two years or start buying replacement grill parts. Next time you buy a barbeque in the same price range, get an aluminum grill that is made in America. Pure aluminum will last forever.

Often, the best tool to fix a problem is education. Once we understand a problem, the solution will show up in our normal actions. Once you know the chromium needs oxygen to protect your stainless steel your regular post-grilling habits may change. The way you wipe down the grill may be directed at the problem instead of just brushing off charred food bits.

Another point to remember is your barbecue grills placement in relation to your pool. Pool chemicals can cause the grill to corrode if in direct contact with high quality stainless steel. However, the stainless steel can also be damaged just by closeness to the pool or stored pool chemicals. When chlorine and other chemicals slowly dissipate into the atmosphere, they do so by chemically bonding to oxygen in the atmosphere. Near the pool, a shortage of oxygen atoms can cause the same effect as covering the stainless steel with grease. Chromium becomes unable to react with the oxygen in the air.

If you have a well-built stainless steel gas grill, cook on it often because of you’re going to spend the money use it. Also the heat lessens mess. After cooking, burn the grill on high or ten to twelve minutes to dry it out and then scrape the stainless. Once or twice a year, take it apart or call a professional. A properly maintained gas grill should last forever.

About the Author: At

we clean and repair bbq grill parts and we stock replacement grill parts for all make and model of barbecues. We have

replacement burners

, cooking grates, briquette trays and ignitors. has gas bbq grill replacement parts for every part of your bbq.


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By Steve Dolan

Pool Supplies

Taking care of your pool is vital, not just to keep it looking good, but also to make sure it’s safe to swim in. To do that, you’ll need a variety of pool supplies. You can choose from sticking with the absolute bare minimum for pool maintenance, right through a high-level maintenance system. Either way, there are a wide variety of products to suit. You can even add in some extras such as a pool cover, ladder or slide.

The main priority is to keep the pool clean. The first step is to focus on the pool water. Generally, something like chlorine, which acts as an oxidizer and sanitizer, is more than sufficient. It keeps the water clean by burning up any organic material that’s present, and this also helps to reduce the load for the pool filters. You also need to keep an eye on the pH balance of the water, as well as a level of alkalinity. A basic water testing kits can do this for you. It’s also worth looking for calcium hardness and stability. If you find a problem using a testing kit, you can fix it immediately.

Swimming pools have interior walls and floors, and over time these will get dirty and slimy if you don’t keep them clean. It’s possible to buy a manual swimming pool vacuum system, which will do a perfectly good job as long as you’re willing to put in the time to clean the pool. Nowadays, however, it makes sense to invest in an automatic pool cleaner, as they’ve become a great deal more affordable. Plus it means you can spend your leisure hours enjoying the pool, rather than vacuuming it!

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Choosing the right pump for your pool is important, because if it’s the wrong size, you’ll either waste a lot of energy or it won’t work properly. Generally, you should choose a pump capable of pumping the entire capacity of your swimming pool in about eight hours. You also need to choose a filtration system. The three main types are sand, cartridge and D.E. Talk to a swimming pool expert to find out more about the pros and cons of each one, or else get online and do your research there so that you can decide which one is right for you.

Most people want to heat their pool, so some extra pool supplies will be needed for that to happen. Pool heaters have become a lot more energy efficient, dependable and durable over the years. They’ve even become more high-tech, with some including advanced features like a freeze protector or an integrated timer.

A pool cover isn’t an essential, but it’s still a good idea. Even if you only use it in winter, it can be worthwhile. That’s particularly the case if small children can gain access to the pool. If that’s likely to happen, you should probably choose a pool cover that’s quick and easy to put in place at any time.

When you first install a pool, it can feel you’re spending a lot of money on pool supplies to get started. The good news is that things get much cheaper once you settle into a pattern of ongoing maintenance. If you choose wisely, however, your pool supplies will last a long time and give you a clean pool to enjoy for many years to come.

About the Author: Steve Dolan is a pool owner who does all of his own maintenance. Click on

Pool Maintenance and Pool Supplies

for more detials and articles on swimming pools. Visit our sister site

Hot Tub Supplies

for hot tubs


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By Adriana J Noton

At some point in life, many homes will develop problems around their windows such as leaking moisture, air coming in around the edge of the window, accidental damage such as a baseball being thrown through the window, a window becoming old and worn, or a homeowner may just want to upgrade their windows when they are renovating or redesigning a room. Whatever the reason for replacing windows, homeowners will have to decide what type window replacement to use. Two types of popular replacement windows are vinyl and fiberglass replacement windows. Before choosing between the two, it is important to understand the difference between the two types of windows.

Below is a list of the differences between Vinyl and Fiberglass Replacement Windows:

Window Strength and Durability: Many experts say that fiberglass windows are much stronger and more durable than vinyl windows. Fiberglass windows are made of molten glass while vinyl windows are made from mixing ethylene with chlorine. In theory, fiberglass will last longer than vinyl. However, vinyl replacement windows are very durable and long lasting.

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Replacement Window Cost: Fiberglass windows tend to be more expensive than vinyl replacement windows. There are many online retailers that sell vinyl replacements windows at very affordable prices. You can also find online deals for fiberglass replacement windows.

Functionality: Fiberglass windows are better able to withstand fluctuations in temperatures and weather such has strong winds. Fiberglass is composed of glass fibers and resins which are better able to expand and contract as the weather changes allowing it to maintain its integrity. However, vinyl allows less cold air through which makes it a good insulator.

Window Maintenance: Both vinyl and fiberglass replacement windows are very easy to maintain. Fiberglass replacement windows can be painted, but vinyl windows cannot be painted. However, vinyl replacement windows are available in a variety of beautiful colors that can be matched with any room. There are many online retailers that sell a wide variety of custom made vinyl windows. Fiberglass replacement windows are smooth which makes them easy to paint.

Environmental Concerns: Both vinyl and fiberglass replacement windows are very energy efficient so for homeowners looking to reduce their energy bills, either replacement window is a good choice. After concerns were raised about the release of dioxins in the air, the vinyl window industry reduced the amount of dioxin emissions by 70% making them safe. Fiberglass windows do not pose a health risk.

For homeowners, the look of a home is very important and they tend to invest a lot in the upkeep of the home. When it is time to replace a window, it is important to consider the differences between the various types of replacement windows and what style would best suit the home. When you learn about the differences and the pros and cons of each type, you will be better able to choose the best replacement window that fits your needs. Most importantly, you will make sure that you are completely satisfied with your chosen replacement window.

About the Author: Quality windows doors manufacturer offers a large selection of vinyl windows and doors, bay/bow windows. View our range of replacement windows and new construction patio doors Canada. All back with our Stellar Lifetime Warranty that’s transferable from builders to home-owners.


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